Colombian authorities have announced on Monday, October 26, that localized restrictions in the city of Manizales (Caldas department) and Antioquia department ahead of the Halloween holidays due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
In Manizales, the municipal administration announced curfew restrictions for both adults and minors during the Halloween weekend. A nightly curfew will be in effect for adults between 20:00 and 05:00 (local time) from Friday, October 30, to Monday, November 2. Minors will have a nightly curfew between 00:01 and 05:00 which will be in effect from Friday, until Sunday, November 1. Additionally, on Monday, a curfew will be in effect from midday to midnight for minors. The consumption of alcohol in public will also be prohibited in the city for the duration of the restrictions.
In Antioquia department, authorities have announced a curfew for minors which will be in effect from 18:00 on Friday until 18:00 on Monday. The consumption of alcohol in public will also be prohibited in the department between those dates. Authorities are also discussing the possibility of applying these restrictions in Aburrá Valley.
Colombian previously authorities extended the phase of selective quarantine that the country entered on September 1 until October 31. During the selective quarantine period, local authorities are permitted to impose their own restrictions on businesses according to the rate of infection in the area. Airports, bus terminals, restaurants, and gyms reopened in most of Colombia as the nation attempts to restart its economy. The step expanded previous moves that allowed shops, construction sites, shopping malls, and factories to resume operations in June in most of the country's cities.
The Colombian national air carrier, Avianca, resumed international operations in a phased approach on September 28, amid further easing of COVID-19 restrictions. The move follows the resumption of Avianca's domestic operations that went into effect on September 1. The resumption of international flights began with two routes from Medellin's Jose Maria Cordova International Airport (MDE) to Miami and New York on September 28. On Thursday, October 1, Avianca will resume flights from Bogota's El Dorado International Airport (BOG) to Ecuador, Mexico, Brazil, and the US. From October 15, Avianca will further extend its international routes with flights to Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic.
As of October 26, there have been 1,025,052 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Colombia with 30,348 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay. To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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